We all like something new. Sometimes ‘new’ means ‘for the first time’, but often it’s about something new replacing something old: a new coat consigns the old one to the cupboard (or is passed on to someone else); a new car sends the old one to the forecourt (or scrapyard). A New Year isn’t quite the same: time passes and we can only ever look back at the past and forward to the future, but even so, we treat particular dates as significant: a birthday, an anniversary, or the number attached to the year.
God is in the ‘making new’ business too, but for him it’s about new hearts and new starts. A new start is quite tricky when a relationship is involved because the whole point of a new start means erasing everything that went before – or at least, all the bad stuff. But God’ genius is to allow memory to coincide with renewed relationship: it’s called forgiveness.
So if you really want a Happy New Year, be prepared to forgive the Old Year.
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!